Hardware Compatibility

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Contents

Hardware Reported to Work

The following list is compiled by the unRAID user community. While it is mostly accurate, it is not definitively so, as it cannot be guaranteed that users have the time, expertise or diligence to test and report back all aspects. It is recommended that if you are using this list, you do so in conjunction with heavy use of the forum.

  • Although boards are listed here by name, compatibility is actually determined by the Linux kernel with the chipsets onboard. Chipset info may not be listed for all boards yet. But if you are looking at a board that is not listed here, check to see what are its major chipsets (Northbridge, Southbridge, network controller, disk controller(s)), and if they are listed below, or are on boards that are listed, then the chances are very good that the board is fully compatible.
  • A voluminous source of motherboard specs is here, on the AVS forums, commented on here.
  • Users are starting to add motherboard info with compatibility grades to the Personal Text field of their forum posts, which appears on the left side of the post, under the post count. For more information, see this thread. Wondering how to add this info? See this post.
  • Also check user sigs (signatures) within the forums for motherboard and other build information. Their actual build may be listed, or a link entitled My Rig which should take you to detail about their system. And check the Pimp Your Rig forum thread for user builds with pictures.
  • All unRAID users are invited to add their working boards here, to help others. We recommend you also add a new topic to the Motherboards forum, with your board as Subject heading, and listing more details of your build. Others are especially interested in the CPU and RAM choices you have found to work, as well as your power supply, CPU cooler, fans, addon disk controllers, disk drives, case, etc. Additional links to the manufacturer's product page and a mainstream vendor's product page are always appreciated too. And any special build tips or BIOS settings changes are always helpful.


An explanation of what the "Tested Level" column means

  • The first level should require at least 3 drives (limit of free license), should have successfully computed parity, and should have successfully checked parity. A syslog should be posted to make sure there are no nasties that might point to compatibility issues. (The syslog will also document parity check performance).
  • The second level should be a user with at least 6 drives (limit of Plus license) that has run for a month without a power down, had a successful parity check at the beginning and end of the month. A syslog should be posted here for that period. During this period at least 10% of the array size should be copied to and from the array.
  • The third level would be a user that has had 13+ drives (including a cache disk), that has run for two months without a power down, has successfully parity checked at least 3 times (start, middle, end) and has posted a good syslog for that period. During this period at least 15% of array size should be copied to and from the array.

The syslog(s) will provide some evidence of good functionality, and running the parity checks will establish good habits going forward. Those looking to make purchase decisions will have more to go on than a casual statement of "it works perfect."


When verification is received that a given board has passed the outlined level a check mark (✓) will be added and a link back to the thread as proof of the completion.



IMPORTANT! The boards listed here have been added by users like you. They were found to work with their specific set of drives, addon controllers, CPU, and RAM, and are not guaranteed in any way to work with other controllers, CPU, and RAM. They very likely have not tested all features of the board, so it is possible that a board listed here as compatible, will not prove compatible with your hardware. As negative reports come in, they will be added to this list.



Motherboard

The motherboard is probably the biggest and most important decision that you will make. There are 3 ways to go:

  • use a board you already have - you will need to confirm its compatibility, and it is likely to be older and slower, with few SATA ports
  • study the Motherboard forum, watch for sales, check this page - and select the board that seems best for you - unRAID has very good compatibility with most boards
  • select one of the 'official' boards (Asus P5B-VM DO and Super Micro C2SEE), used by Lime Technology itself in its pre-built systems for purchase - maximum compatibility because tested the most by the developer - recommended by several veteran unRAID users, here's why - 'official' boards are clearly marked below

Here are some additional thoughts on the 4 classes of motherboards, from well-tested to untested.

NOTE: If you own or are considering a Gigabyte board, you need to be aware of the HPA issue. If it is possible, it is highly recommended to update to the latest BIOS of your Gigabyte board and disable the option to backup the BIOS to the hard drive.

It is recommended that you sort on 'Date Added', in order to locate current motherboards, those most recently added. Many boards listed below are now obsolete and discontinued. Those without dates should be considered very old. Sort by clicking twice on the little box with 2 triangles, at the bottom of the 'Date Added' column header.

Note to editors: if possible add virtualization info (eg. 'Supports VT-d' etc). Perhaps in future we should add another column for it.

  • A great resource for Xen capable setups is here. Motherboards listed there are tested for VT-d support and PCI passthrough, and the reports include the CPU and other equipment used.


Model Date Added Tested Level SATA eSATA #_of Gb NIC NIC chipset CPU socket Northbridge Southbridge Onboard Video Form Factor Links & Notes
Abit AB9 Pro 2007-05 ✓✓ 9 1 2 Realtek RTL8111B Intel LGA 775 P965 Express ICH8R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2, forum post 3, forum post 4, forum post 5, Most SATA ports, but check forum, many support requests. Upgrade BIOS to latest.
Abit A-S78H 2009-09 6 0 1 Marvell 88E8056 AMD 780G SB700 SB700 no uATX Manufacturer, No Newegg link, forum post 1, 16x PCI-E, 1x PCI-E, HDMI, DVI, VGA, AM2+, PCI-E v2.0, HT 3.0, DDR2 1066 (AM2+), 7 drives max
Abit IC7-MAX3 2007-07 TBD 4 0 1 Intel Pro 1000 Intel 478 875P ICH5R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, 5 PCI Slots, no PCI-E
Asrock 939SLI32-eSATA2 2006-12 TBD 6 2 1 Realtek RTL8111B AMD 939 ULi M1697 ULi M1697 no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2, 2 eSATA ports Shared with 2 ports on M/B
Asus A7N8X Deluxe v2.0 2007-06 TBD 2 0 0 Realtek RTL8201BL PHY AMD socket A nForce2 400 nForce2 MCP no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2
Asus A8N-SLI 2009-01 TBD 4 0 1 -- AMD 939 nForce4 SLI nForce4 MCP no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe 2008-04 TBD 8 0 2 NVIDIA Gigabit MAX(Marvell PHY chip) & Marvell PCI Gigabit LAN AMD 939 nForce4 SLI nForce4 MCP no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Asus A8N-SLI Premium 2009-03 ✓✓ 8 0 2 NVIDIA Gigabit MAX(Marvell PHY chip) & Marvell PCI Gigabit LAN AMD 939 nForce4 SLI nForce4 MCP no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Asus A8N-VM CSM 2008-05 TBD 4 0 1 Marvell 88E1111 PHY AMD 939 GeForce 6150 nForce 430 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, DVI & VGA Output
Asus A8N-VM/S ----- TBD 4 0 0 NVIDIA nForce AMD 939 nForce 4 NA yes mATX Bios and drives, No Newegg Link, forum post 1, OEM Fujitsu Siemens
Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe 2009-09 5 1 2 Marvell 88E8053/88E8001 AMD 939 ATI Crossfire Express 3200 ULI M1575 no ATX Manufacturer Newegg, forum post 1, S3 Works
ASUS F1A75-V Pro 2012-01 ✓✓ 7 1 1 Realtek RTL8111e PCIe GB Lan AMD FM1 AMD A75 F75 Hudson-D3 Radeon HD6000 yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post, PCIe x16 works with saslp, Pcie x16 2.0, Pcie x4 2.0, PCI, HDMI, Dport, VGA, FM1, Non-ECC DDR3 1866 Max 64Gb, USB2.0, USB3.0, Boot from USB2.0 Ports under lan connection.
Asus M2N68-AM 2009-01 TBD 4 0 1 Realtek RTL8211CL AMD Socket AM2+/AM2 GeForce 7050PV nForce 630a yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, About BIOS, VGA output
Asus M2N-E 2009-04 TBD 6 0 1 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra MCP AMD Socket AM2 nForce 570 Ultra MCP NA no  ? Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post
Asus M2NPV-VM 2007-10 TBD 4 0 1 NVIDIA Gigabit MAX(Marvell PHY chip) AMD Socket AM2 GeForce 6150 nForce 430 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, About BIOS, DVI-D, VGA, RGB, Svideo outputs
Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe 2009-08 TBD 7 1 2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP (Marvell PHY) AMD Socket AM2 nForce 570 SLI MCP NA no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1,
Asus M2N-WS 2010-03 9 1 2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP (Marvell PHY) AMD Socket AM2 nForce 570 SLI MCP NA no ATX Manufacturer, NeweggForum Post 1, Only six onboard sata ports work currently, dual PCI-X, PCIe X16 and PCIe x1 slots.
Asus M3N-HD 2009-02 6 0 1 Atheros F1 Gigabit PHY AMD Socket AM2+/AM2 nForce 750a SLI NA yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, HDMI output; the board appears to work great
Asus M4A78-VM 2009-10 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8111 AMD Socket AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G AMD SB700 yes microATX Manufacturer, Newegg (close but not quite), forum post 1
Asus M4A78L-M 2010-03 6 0 1 Realtek 8112L AMD Socket AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G AMD SB710 yes microATX Manufacturer, Newegg, level one comp
Asus M4A78LT-M 2011-07 6 0 1 Realtek® 8112L Gigabit LAN AMD Socket AM3 AMD 780L AMD SB710 Yes (DVI & VGA) microATX Manufacturer S3 Sleep, Wake-on-Lan, boot from USB all works fine, Thread
Asus M4A78LT-M LE 2011-03 TBD 6 0 1 PCIe Gigabit LAN AR8131 AMD Socket AM3 AMD 780L AMD SB710 yes microATX Manufacturer, Newegg, *Issues with NIC onboard LAN. Works well for some users if using cheap PCI LAN Card.
Asus M4A785TD-V EVO 2013-09 5 1 1 PCIe Gigabit LAN RTL8112L AMD Socket AM3 AMD 785G AMD SB710 yes ATX Manufacturer, S3 Sleep, Wake-On-Lan, boot from USB all works fine, (1x PCIe 16x, 1x PCIe 4x)
Asus P4C800 2006-10 TBD 2 0 1 Intel CSA 82547EI Intel 478 875P MCH ICH5R no ATX Manufacturer, No Newegg link
Asus P4C800 Deluxe (B-) 2007-08 TBD 2 0 1 Intel CSA 82547EI Intel 478 875P ICH5R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2
Asus P4GE-MX/S ----- TBD 0 0 0 Realtek RTL8100C Intel Socket 478 845GE 82801DB ICH4 no mATX Manufacturer, No Newegg link, OEM Fujitsu-Siemens Scaleo L; issues with SMART
Asus P4P800-E Deluxe 2006-06 TBD 4 0 1 Marvell 88E8001 Intel 478 865PE ICH5R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Asus P4P800 SE 2006-07 TBD 2 0 1 Marvell 88E8001 Intel 478 865PE ICH5R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Asus P4R800-VM 2006-12 TBD 0 0 0 Realtek RTL8201BL/CL Intel 478 Radeon 9100 IGP ATI IXP200 yes mATX Manufacturer, No Newegg link, forum post
Asus P5B-E 2007-03 TBD 7 1 1 Attansic® L1 PCI-E Intel LGA 775 P965 Express ICH8R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post
Asus P5BV-M 2010-05 4 0 3 Broadcom BCM5721 Intel LGA 775 Intel 3200 Intel ICH7R yes microATX Newegg
Asus P5B-VM DO

an official Lime Tech recommended board

2007-07 ✓✓✓ 7 1 1 Intel 82566DM Intel LGA 775 Q965 Express ICH8DO yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2, BIOS settings here, S3 Works
Asus P5E-VM DO 2009-09 ✓✓ 6 0 1 Intel 82566DM Intel LGA 775 Q35 ICH9DO yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Asus P5GDC-V Deluxe 2007-05 TBD 4 0 1 Marvell PCIe 88E8053 Intel LGA 775 915G ICH6R yes BTX Manufacturer, No Newegg Link
Asus P5K Deluxe 2008-12 TBD 6 2 2 Marvell 88E8056 / Realtek RTL8110SC Intel LGA 775 P35 ICH9R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, Tested with 4.4 final; alternate Marvell 88E8056 PCI-E LAN port did not work, forum post 2
Asus P5KPL-CM 2009-03 ✓✓ 4 0 1 Atheros AR8121 Intel LGA 775 G31 ICH7 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, Onboard NIC supported as of 4.5beta? (tested/working in 4.5beta6).
Asus P5LD2 R2.0 2007-04 TBD 4 0 1 Marvell 88E8053 Intel LGA 775 945P ICH7R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post
Asus P5LD2-VM R2.0 2006-11 TBD 4 0 1 Intel Gb Intel LGA 775 945G ICH7 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post
ASUS P5NT WS 2009-03 ✓✓ 6 0 2 NVIDIA Gigabit MAC(Marvell 88E1116 chip) Intel LGA 775 nForce 680i LT SLI NA no ATX Server Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Asus P5PE-VM 2006-09 TBD 2 0 1 Marvell 88E8001 Intel LGA 775 865G ICH5 yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum thread, with BIOS settings
Asus P7H55-M LE 2010-12 6 0 1 Realtek 8112L Intel LGA 1156 Intel H55 Intel H55 yes, with Core i3 5xx or i5 6xx mATX Manufacturer, Newegg
BIOSTAR A760G M2+ 2009-10 6 0 1 Realtek 8111C AMD Socket AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G AMD SB710 yes mATX Manufacturer, [1], forum post 1
BIOSTAR A780L3G 2011-03 -TBD- 4 0 1 Realtek ALC662 AMD Socket AM3 AMD 760G AMD SB710 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1: board works, level 1 test in progress
BIOSTAR A880GU3 2011-07 4 0 1 Realtek RTL8111DL AMD Socket AM3 AMD 880G AMD SB710 HDMI, DVI, VGA mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, unRAID 5.0b10, Sempron 130, 4GB, Intel Pro NIC (PCI), Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 (PCIe)
BIOSTAR H55A+ 2011-05 6 0 1 Realtek 8111DL Intel LGA 1156 Intel H55  ? yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1: board works, level 1 tested
Biostar TA690G 2009-01 TBD 4 0 1 Realtek RTL8111B AMD Socket AM2 690G ATI SB600 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Biostar TA785G3 2010-09 6 0 1 Realtek 8111DL AMD Socket AM3 785G AMD SB710 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Dell Dimension 9200 XPS 410 DXP061 2009-10 TBD 6 0 1 Intel 82566DC Gigabit Intel LGA 775 Intel P965 Express Intel ICH8R no BTX Manufacturer, No Newegg Link, forum post 1
Dell PowerEdge SC440 2011-08 ✓✓ 4 0 1 Broadcom NetXtreme Intel LGA 775 Intel 3000 Intel 3000 yes Dell Manufacturer, No Newegg Link
DFI 855GME-MGF ----- TBD 2 0 1 Realtek RTL8110S Intel 479 855GME MCH 6300ESB yes mATX Manufacturer, No Newegg Link, Based on Mobile Chipset which should run at low power levels (Green)
DFI LANParty UT NF590 SLI-M2R/G ----- TBD 8 0 2 VITESSE VSC8601 AMD Socket AM2 nForce 590 SLI MCP MCP55PXE no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg
ECS 945GCT-D (DTX Atom) 2009-01 TBD 2 0 0 ATHEROS AR8112 Intel FCBGA 437 945GC ICH7 yes Mini-DTX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, Requires separate NIC card as ATHEROS AR8112 is not supported
ECS 945GCT-M/1333 2008-04 TBD 4 0 0 Realtek RTL8101E Intel LGA 775 945GC ICH7 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
ECS A740GM-M 2008-03 6 0 1 Atheros L1 or Atheros L2 (10/100) AMD Socket AM2 740G SB700 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2
Epox 8NPA SLI 2007-01 TBD 4 0 1 VITESSE VSC8201RX AMD Socket 754 nForce4 SLI nForce4 SLI MCP no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post
Epox MF570 SLI (A-) 2007-12 TBD 8 0 2 Marvell 88E1116 AMD Socket AM2 nForce 570 SLI nForce 570 SLI MCP no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2, Requires noapic boot option if running unRAID versions prior to v4.4 final
FIC K8-800T (Don't Use) 2010-12 Failed 2 0 2 Realtek 8100C AMD Socket 939 VIA K8T800 VIA 8237 no ATX Manufacturer, forum; onboard chipset results in parity errors for attached SATA drives; onboard IDE OK; running SATA cards on PCI bus OK but slow
Foxconn 6150BK8MC-KRSHN2 2007-06 TBD 4 0 1 NVIDIA Gigabit MAX(Marvell PHY chip) AMD Socket 939 GeForce 6150B(PV) nforce 430 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Foxconn 946GZ7MA-8KS2H 2008-11 TBD 4 0 1 Marvell 88E8001 Intel LGA 775 946GZ ICH7 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Foxconn G31MX-K 2009-03 4 0 1 Realtek RTL8111B Intel LGA 775 G31 ICH7 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1 forum post 2
Gigabyte G31M-ES2L

Rev. 1 is OK.... Rev. 2 is incompatible with unRAID!

2009-03 ✓✓ 4 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C Intel Socket 775 G31 ICH7 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, S3 Works
Gigabyte GA-8I848P775-G 2006-05 TBD 2 0 1 Marvell 8001 Intel LGA775 848P ICH5 no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg
Gigabyte GA-945GZM-S2 2007-05 TBD 4 0 1 Marvell 88E8001 Intel LGA 775 945GZ ICH7 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, Bios: 'Integrated Peripherals', Set the 'On-Chip SATA Mode' to 'Enhanced'
GIGABYTE GA-D525TUD 2010-10 4 0 1 Realtek ALC888B FC BGA559 (Embedded) Intel NM10 --- yes mini ITX Manufacturer, Newegg
GIGABYTE GA-EG31MF-S2 2009-11 TBD 4 0 1 Realtek 8111C Intel 775 G31 ICH7 yes mATX Manufacturer, No Newegg Link, S3 Works
GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R 2008-08 TBD 8 0 1 Realtek RTL8111B Intel 775 P35 ICH9R yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2 Upgrade to latest BIOS, works with 4.3 Betas; issues reported
Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L (rev 1.0) 2009-01 TBD 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C Intel 775 P43 ICH10 no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Gigabyte GA-EP43-UD3L (rev 1.0) 2009-04 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C Intel 775 P43 ICH10 no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L 2008-10 TBD 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C Intel 775 P45 ICH10 no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P 2009-01 8 0 2 Realtek RTL8111C Intel 775 P45 ICH10R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2
GIGABYTE GA-F2A85XM-D3H 2013-07 TBD 8 0 1 Realtek GbE AMD Socket FM2 AMD A85X (Hudson D4) NA APU Micro ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum,
GIGABYTE GA-M61PM-S2 2009-07 TBD 4 0 1 Realtek RTL8211 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 NVIDIA nForce 430 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg
GIGABYTE GA-M78SM-S2H 2009-03 TBD 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8211B AM2+/AM2 GeForce 8200 NA yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg
GIGABYTE GA-MA69GM-S2H 2008-03 TBD 4 0 1 Realtek RTL8110 AM2 690G SB600 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, Set bios to boot from USB HDD. Working with 4.2.1
GIGABYTE GA-MA74GM-S2 2008-10 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C AM2+/AM2 740G SB700 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, S3 Works New Revision Note
Gigabyte GA-MA78G-DS3H 2008-08 TBD 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C AM2+/AM2 780G SB700 yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2, single core CPU post, May require single core CPU
Gigabyte GA-MA780G-UD3H 2009-03 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C AM2+/AM2 780G SB700 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
GIGABYTE GA-MA785G-UD3H 2009-10 6 0 1 Realtek 8111C AMD Socket AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G AMD SB710 yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, S3 Works, disable HPA in BIOS
Gigabyte K8VT800 Pro 2009-09 TBD 2 0 1 Realtek RTL8110S AMD Socket 754 VIA K8T800 VIA VT8237 no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg (but not Pro version), forum post 1
Gigabyte GA-D510UD 2010-06 4 0 1 Realtek 8111D Intel Atom D510 Intel NM10 - yes mITX Manufacturer, HPA disabled by default in BIOS
Intel D845GVAD2(L) 2006-04 TBD 0 0 0 Intel 82562ET Intel Socket 478 845GV NA yes mATX Manufacturer, No Newegg Link, forum post
Intel D865GLC 2007-03 TBD 0 0 0 none Intel Socket 478 865G ICH5 yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post
Intel D865GLCLK

the original Lime Tech board

2006-03 ✓✓✓ 2 0 1 Intel® Pro/1000 CT Intel Socket 478 Intel® 865G TBD yes mATX Manufacturer, No Newegg Link
Intel D915GAGLK 2006-03 TBD 4 0 1 Marvell 88E8050 Intel LGA775 915G ICH6 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post
Intel D945GCCRL 2007-05 TBD 4 0 0 Intel 82562G Intel LGA775 945GC ICH7 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post
Intel D945GCLF2 2008-10 TBD 2 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C Intel Atom 330 945GC ICH7 yes Mini ITX / mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, Tested with 4.4.beta2
Intel D975XBX 2008-10 TBD 8 0 1 Intel 82573E/82573L Intel LGA 775 G975 Express ICH7R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg
Intel DG45ID 2009-01 TBD 5 1 1 Intel 82567LF Intel LGA775 G45 ICH10R yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Intel DG965OTMKR 2007-12 TBD 6 0 1 Intel 82566DC Intel LGA 775 G965 Express ICH8 yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post
Intel DG965RYCK 2007-01 TBD 4 0 1 Intel 82566DC Intel LGA 775 G965 Express ICH8 yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, Set USB as Fixed Disk in BIOS to boot flash
Intel DG965WHMKR 2007-09 TBD 6 0 1 Intel 82566DC Intel LGA 775 G965 Express ICH8R yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg
Intel DH55TC 2010-08 6/4 0/2 1 Intel Pro 1000 82578DC Intel LGA 1156 H55 Express - yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg
Intel DQ45EK 2009-03 4 1 1 Intel 82566DM Intel LGA775 Q45 ICH10DO yes mini ITX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, Lan driver added in 4.5 beta2
Jetway J7F4K1G2E-PB 2011-01 TBD 2 0 1 Realtek RTL8110SC / VIA VT6103CL Embedded VIA NanoBGA C7 CN700 VT8237RP yes mini ITX Manufacturer, Newegg, VIA NIC is 10/100, not recommended see forum post
Jetway JHZ03-GT-V2-LF 2011-01 ✓✓ 6 0 1 Realtek 8111DL AMD AM3 880G SB710 yes uATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, (1) 16x or (2) 8x PCI-E v2.0, HDMI, DVI, VGA, AM3, HT 3.0, DDR3 1600(OC)/1333 Dual Channel, (6) SATA 3Bb/s, (4) USB 2.0 onboard
Jetway NF93 2009-08 TBD 4 0 2 Realtek RTL8111C Intel socket Penry Intel GM45 ICH9M/ICH9ME yes mini ITX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, Low power, 14.5W
MSI 880GMA-E45 2011-05 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8111DL AMD AM3 880G SB850 yes uATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, USB 3.0 AND SATA 6Gb/s,
MSI K7T266 Pro2 2009-11 0 0 0 Unknown AMD Socket A Via KT266A Via VT8233 no ATX Manufacturer, No Newegg Link, Original Post
MSI K8N Neo4 2007-02 TBD 8 0 2 Marvell 88E1111 AMD Socket 939 nForce4 NA no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, Sil3132 on board
MSI KT4V ----- TBD 2 0 0 VIA VT6103 AMD socket A VIA KT400 VIA® VT8235 no ATX Manufacturer, No Newegg Link
MSI P43 Neo3-F 2008-09 TBD 8 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C Intel LGA 775 P43 ICH10 no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, forum post 2
MSI P965 Platinum 2008-02 TBD 7 0 1 Realtek RTL8111B Intel LGA 775 P965 Express ICH8R no ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, Uses Realtek Gigabit, speed problems in unRAID 4.2.1, but fixed in 4.3 betas
Super Micro C2SBA+II 2009-04 6 0 1 Intel 82566 Intel LGA 775 G33 ICH9R yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Super Micro C2SEA 2009-05 ✓✓ 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C Intel LGA 775 G45 ICH10 yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Super Micro C2SEE

new official Lime Tech board

2008-12 ✓✓✓ 6 0 1 Realtek RTL8111C Intel LGA 775 G43 ICH10 yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum announcement, build guide, USB glitch & fix
Super Micro MBD-X7SBE 2008-12 6 0 2 Intel 82573V / Intel 82573L Intel LGA 775 3210 ICH9R yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1, BIOS note
Super Micro MBD-X7SBL-LN1-O 2009-07 TBD 6 0 1 Intel 82573V Intel LGA 775 3200 ICH9R yes mATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post 1
Super Micro X7SLA-H-O 2009-07 TBD 4 0 2 Realtek RTL8111C-GR Intel Atom 330 945GC ICH7R yes Flex ATX Manufacturer, No Newegg Link, forum post 1
Super Micro X7SPA-HF-O 2010-01 ✓✓ 6 0 2 Intel 82574L Intel Atom 510 Pineview-D ICH9R yes Mini ITX Manufacturer, Wiredzone, forum post 1, IPMI 2.0, 14.6W, 4x PCI-E
XFX Geforce 8300 2009-10 ✓✓ 6 1 1 Marvel 88E8056 AMD AM3 Geforce 8300 Nvidia MCP78u yes uATX Manufacturer, No Newegg Link, forum post 1, PCI-E x16 works with SATA card, 16x PCI-E, 1x PCI-E, HDMI, DVI, VGA, AM3, PCI-E v2.0, HT 3.0, DDR2 1066, bios 1.6 needed.
ZOTAC GF6100-E-E 2010-08 4 0 1 NVIDIA nForce 430 MCP AM3/AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 430 MCP NVIDIA GeForce 6100 yes mini ITX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post, PCIe x1, .
Asrock C226 WS 2013-12 ✓✓ 10 1 shared with Marvell SE9172 2 INTEL i210 LGA 1150 Intel C226 Intel C226 yes ATX Manufacturer, Newegg, forum post, 2 PCIe 3.0 16x (at 16x/0x or 8x/8x), 1 PCIe 2.0 16x (at 4x), 3 PCIe 2.0 1x, and 1 PCI, Supports VT-d


Is my motherboard compatible with unRAID?

OK, so maybe your motherboard is not included on the list above, which is likely if your motherboard is relatively new. This does not mean it is incompatible with unRAID, it only means that it hasn't been tested with unRAID. The following is an attempt at a guide to help you determine if your motherboard is compatible with unRAID or not, and what potential problems you should be aware of:

HPA

  • As of September 10, 2010, only Gigabyte boards are affected by the HPA issue. This of course may change in the future.
  • Is your motherboard made by Gigabyte? If so, you need to check to see if your motherboard has an HPA 'feature'. This 'feature' (or curse in the unRAID community) can make your motherboard incompatible with unRAID in a very subtle and nefarious way. You can read more about HPA here. HPA goes by many names, such as 'Save a copy of BIOS to HDD' and 'Backup BIOS Image to HDD'. Look around in your board's BIOS for something like that - it is generally in the 'Advanced BIOS Features' tab.
    • If you motherboard has HPA enabled by default, this is very bad. Try upgrading the BIOS. If the most up-to-date version of the BIOS still has HPA enabled by default, then the motherboard is incompatible with unRAID. Throw it on the ground. Actually, don't, because it will most likely still work just fine as a desktop, HTPC, or any other purpose - just not for unRAID.
    • If the motherboard has HPA disabled by default, then it is most likely compatible with unRAID. Most Gigabyte motherboards manufactured in 2009 and later have HPA disabled by default. To be doubly-extra sure, you can perform this simple test - shut down the computer/server, disconnect the power supply, and clear the CMOS (either by removing the CMOS battery for 30 mins or more, or CAREFULLY connecting the two Clear_CMOS jumpers on the motherboard with either a flathead screwdriver or a jumper). After clearing the CMOS, boot into BIOS and see if HPA is still disabled. If it is, you are good to go. If not, try updating the BIOS and running this test again.
    • If the motherboard has no HPA feature, then it is likely suitable for use with unRAID.
  • Is you motherboard made by a manufacturer other than Gigabyte? Chances are it is fully compatible with unRAID. The fact is that most modern (circa 2008 or newer) motherboards are fully compatible with unRAID, it is only Gigabyte that forces you to take extra caution.


The Compatibility Test

The ultimate test of unRAID compatibility with any motherboard is to just try it. If you are already using the motherboard in another computer or server, you can test it for unRAID compatibility without breaking your current setup. Here's how:

1) Obtain an empty USB flash drive, or backup the data off of one you are using. You will be erasing everything on this flash drive during this procedure.

2) On a Windows computer prepare your flash drive as detailed in these instructions: http://lime-technology.com/wiki/index.php?title=USB_Flash_Drive_Preparation

3) Boot the motherboard in question from the unRAID flash drive. This may require changing your boot order and/or setting the flash drive to an emulated mode (such as HDD or FDD) in BIOS.

4) Wait for unRAID to fully boot until you see 'Tower Login:' on the console screen, and/or you hear two beeps in quick succession.

5) From a different computer that is on the same LAN and workgroup, point a web browser to http://tower. If you see the unRAID web management screen come up, skip to step 7.

6) If you don't see the unRAID web management page come up during step 5, do the following:

6a) Back on the unRAID server, log in (default login is 'root', default password is blank).

6b) Type 'ifconfig' and press Enter.

6c) Scan the resulting text for your server's IP address. It will look something like this: 'inet address: 192.168.0.100'

6d) Back on the other computer, point your browser to http://192.168.0.100, substituting in your server's IP address.

6e) If you still don't see the unRAID web management page at this point, seek help on the unRAID forums.

7) As long as you can see the unRAID web management page, chances are very good that your motherboard is compatible with unRAID.

8) This step is optional, but while you're in here you may as well do it. On the unRAID web management page, click over to the 'Devices' page. You should see your flash drive's GUID. Save this code somewhere. If you ever want to register that flash drive with unRAID (meaning buy the Plus or Pro versions), then you will need to send this GUID to LimeTech. DO NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE ON THE DEVICES PAGE. DO NOT ASSIGN DRIVES. DOING SO WILL ERASE ALL THE DATA ON YOUR DRIVES.

9) When you are satisfied, click back to the 'Home' page. Click 'Power Down' to cleanly shut down unRAID.


What makes a motherboard suitable for unRAID? There are many factors that can affect a motherboard's suitability for use in an unRAID server. Here are the primary factors, in order of importance:

  • Number of SATA ports - 6+ is ideal. Generally speaking, the more the better. However, some motherboards achieve 8 or more SATA ports by splitting the load across multiple controllers. Generally this is fine, but there have been a few cases in which one of the controllers is incompatible with unRAID. If you have one of these motherboards, seek help on the forums.
  • Onboard video - A motherboard with onboard video is ideal. This means that you don't have to waste any precious PCI or PCIe expansion slots on a video card. It will also save you power and money. The quality or speed of the onboard video doesn't matter, after all it will only be displaying text. If your motherboard does not have onboard video, it is highly recommended that you use a cheap PCI-based video card, preferably one that is passively cooled (purchase link needed). You want to save your faster PCIe slot(s) for expansion cards. Again, the video card only needs to display text, so you don't need anything fancy.
  • Onboard Gigabit LAN - a.k.a. GigE. The motherboard's specs should list 10/100/1000 for the network interface controller (NIC). A list of known working NICs is here, but even if yours is not listed it will likely work. Just try it. If your onboard NIC doesn't work (or if your motherboard does not have an onboard NIC), then it is highly recommended that you use an Intel PCI-based Gigabit NIC (purchase link needed).

The above three cover the essentials. The following are not essential, but they are nice to have:

  • At least one PCIe x4 or faster slot - The more the better. Each PCIe slot that is x4, x8, or x16 will allow you to use an add-on card, such as the SuperMicro AOC-SASLP-MV8, to expand your server past the onboard SATA ports. At the current time, each PCIe x4 or faster slot can support up to 8 SATA drives. PCIe x1 slots can support up to 2 SATA drives without sacrificing performance. PCI slots can support 1 SATA drive without sacrificing performance (multiple PCI slots often share the same PCI bus, so having multiple PCI slots doesn't necessarily mean that you can support multiple drives with them). Generally speaking, you want to avoid using the PCI bus altogether, stick to the PCIe bus as it is much faster.
  • Small Form Factor - MicroATX (a.k.a. uATX) is currently the sweet spot between size, expandability, and price. Smaller motherboards help keep your case clean, which can help with cable organization, airflow, etc. However, larger motherboards also have redeeming features, such as more SATA ports or multiple PCIe slots. The ideal board size will vary depending on the type of server you want to build and how many drives you want to support.
  • Flexibility with other core components, such as RAM and CPU - Certain motherboards, such as SuperMicro boards, are very picky about the RAM and CPU that they use. This means that if one of those components were to die, you may have a harder time finding a replacement part. You may want to use a motherboard that can take multiple RAM speeds (DDR2 400 - 1066, for example) and that can handle multiple CPU sockets (AM2, AM2+, and AM3 for example). This will help you find replacement parts and upgrades cheaply and easily.

Processor

  • Any; 2.0GHz or higher is recommended, but many users are happy with 1.6GHz, at least one was fine with a 1.2GHz CPU; [2], [3]
  • Single and multiple core processors are fine. As of unRAID v4.4, multiple core processors are fully supported. For versions of unRAID through v4.3.3, multiple core processors work fine, but only one processor is used.


Memory

  • Minimum 512MB, maximum 64GB, recommended 1GB (or more if you will be adding other applications)
    • Maximum was 1GB - prior to Version 4.3-beta6
    • Maximum was 4GB - prior to Version 4.4-final
  • Recommend 2 equal sticks of 512MB, 1GB, or 2GB in order to run in dual-channel mode, speed matched to the FSB of your CPU.
  • unRAID will run in 512MB just fine for normal serving of media files, but if you plan on running add-on applications (especially those that use a lot of memory), 1GB, 2GB, or more is better.
  • There have been several unRAID users who were unable to perform a file-system check with reiserfsck on a 2TB disk with only 512MB of ram, because it would terminate with an out-of-memory error. Even though unRAID can serve files using only 512 MB, it may be necessary to add more memory to run certain diagnostic programs on a full 2TB drive, when the file system is corrupted.


Network Controllers

  • Broadcomm BCM5751 Gigabit PCIe x1
  • D-Link DGE-528T Gigabit Ethernet (from v4.1) ***NOTE - THIS CARD IS NO LONGER SUPPORTED SINCE 5rc5 DUE TO LINUX DRIVER ISSUES***
  • Intel 82566DC Gigabit LAN chipset
  • Intel PRO/1000 Gigabit Ethernet
  • Intel PRO/100 Ethernet
  • Linksys LNE100TX
  • Marvell Yukon Gigabit Ethernet
  • Netgear GA311 Gigabit Ethernet - uses Realtek, may have issues noted below
  • Realtek - RTL8169S, RTL8111B, RTL8111C, probably others too ***NOTE - MANY PEOPLE REPORT ISSUES WITH REALTEK, SO CHECK THE FORUMS BEFORE ASSUMING YOUR BOARD WILL WORK***
  • Others that use the same chipsets as the controllers above


Motherboard IDE controllers

  • Intel PIIXn (essentially all Intel-based boards)
  • AMD-7xxx and AMD-8111
  • ATI IXP
  • nVidia nForce2 (works, but not recommended)
  • nVidia nForce4 (works, but not recommended)
  • nVidia nForce5 and above


PCI IDE Controllers

  • Promise Ultra100/133 TX2 [PDC20268]
  • Highpoint Rocket 133 (non-RAID)
  • Highpoint RocketRaid 454
  • SYBA SY-VIA-150R PCI SATA / IDE Combo Card [4], [5]


Motherboard SATA controllers

  • Intel PIIX
  • Intel ICHn
  • Silicon Image SiI3112, SiI3114, SiI3124, SiI3132
  • nVidia nForce series 5 or above (nForce4 or below NOT recommended, except Asus A8N-SLI)


PCI SATA Controllers

Note: this section includes both PCI, PCI-X, and PCI Express (PCIe) controllers
Check the forum for more controllers [6],[7]; search the forum for not listed cards!

Model #-ports interface slot SATA chipset Links & Notes
Adaptec 1205SA 2 PCI - SATA I SiI3112 [8], [9]
Generic 2 PCIe x1 SATA II JMB360/363 [10]
Generic 2 PCI - SATA I SiI3512
Generic 2  ?  ? SATA II SiI3132 SiI3132-based cards NOT RECOMMENDED - see footnote!
Highpoint RocketRAID 620/622 2 PCIe x1 SATA III  ? working with script modification [11]
Highpoint Rocket 62x 2 PCIe x1 SATA III Marvell 88SE9125 working with script modification [12]
Skymaster 2 PCI - SATA I SiI3512
SYBA SY-VIA-150R 2 PCI - SATA I SiI3512 IDE Combo Card [13], [14]
SYBA SY-PEX40039 2 PCIe x1 SATA III ASM1061 working with script modification [15], other cards/boards based on this chipset may also work
Adaptec 1430SA 4 PCIe x4 SATA II - [16], [17], [18]
Dinodirect PCESA2-4R 4 PCIe x4  ? JMB363
Generic 4 PCI - SATA I SiI3114 for BIOS update for SiI3114 based cards, see [19] and [20]
Highpoint 2300 4 PCIe x1 SATA I Marvell 88sx7042 chipset supported by sata_mv module
Highpoint RocketRAID 640 4 PCIe x4 SATA III Marvell 88SE9128 working with script modification [21], other cards/boards based on this chipset may also work
LSI SAS9211-4i 4 PCIe  ? SATA III SAS2004 flashed to IT mode [22]
Lycom PE-123i 4 PCIe x2 SATA III  ? [23]
MASSCOOL XWT-RC040 4 PCI -  ? SiI3114
Promise FastTRAK S150 SX4 4  ?  ?  ?  ? untested
Promise FastTRAK TX4 4  ?  ? SATA I/II  ?
Rosewill RC-218 4 PCIe x4 SATA II Marvell 88SX7042 chipset supported by sata_mv module [24]
Sabrent SBT-SRD4 4 PCI - SATA I  ?
SYBA SY-PEX40013 4 PCIe  ? SATA I/II JMB363 2x SATA I & 2x SATA II
Dell Perc H200 8 PCIe x8 SATA III SAS2008 HBA crossflashed to LSI9211-8i IT [25]
Dell Perc H310 8 PCIe x8 SATA III SAS2008 crossflashed to LSI9211-8i IT [26], recently reported crossflash issues [27]
Fujitsu D2607 8 PCIe x8 SATA III SAS2008 cross flash with H310 toolset [28], Update: only one SAS port seems to work when crossflashed!!! [29]
Highpoint 1820a 8 PCI-X - SATA I Marvell 88sx5041 chipset supported by sata_mv module
Highpoint RocketRAID 2720 8 PCIe x8 SATA III  ? working with script modification [30]
IBM BR10i 8 PCIe x8 SATA II SAS1068E flashed to IT mode [31], does not support >2.2TB
IBM ServeRAID M1015 8 PCIe x8 SATA III SAS2008 crossflashed to LSI SAS2008 [32]
IBM ServeRAID M1115 8 PCIe x8 SATA III SAS2008 crossflashed to LSI SAS2008 [33]
Intel SASUC8I 8 PCIe x8 SATA II SAS1068E flashed to IT mode [34], does not support >2.2TB
Intel RS2WC080 8 PCIe x8 SATA III SAS2008 crossflashed to LSI SAS2008 [35]
LSI SAS 3081-R 8 PCIe x8 SATA II SAS1068E flashed to IT mode [36], does not support >2.2TB
LSI SAS9211-8i 8 PCIe x8 SATA III SAS2008 flashed to IT mode [37]
SuperMicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 8 PCIe x4 SATA II Marvell 6480 [38]
SuperMicro AOC-SAS2LP-MV8 8 PCIe x8 SATA III Marvell 6480 should work out of the box but there were some issues [39]
SuperMicro AOC-SAT2-MV8 8 PCI-X - SATA II Marvell Hercules-2 Rev. C0 Works straight out of the box (Motherboard Supermicro X7SBE, unRAID 5.0).
SYBA SI-PEX40071 8 PCIe x2 SATA III Marvell 88SE9705 Works straight out of the box.
Highpoint RocketRAID 2740 16 PCIe x16 SATA III  ? reported working [40]
LSI SAS9201-16i 16 PCIe x8 SATA III SAS2116 [41]
Areca ARC-1170 24 PCI-X - SATA II - reported working [42]; other Areca controllers probably also working - to be tested


For more ports it may be reasonable to think about using an HBA with an SAS expander. [43]


Note: Some of the above cards usually come with RAID firmware and need a firmware update, to a non-RAID version (a.k.a. IT-mode)

Chipsets that provide Port Multiplier support

    • Silicon Image SiI3726 chipset
    • probably other Silicon Image chipsets

Not recommended:

  • SYBA (PCI-E X1) 2 port SATA II (SiI3132)
    • Beware!!! There are numerous providers of SiL3132-based addon cards, and a few of them (unknown how many) are known to be faulty, causing unseen (SILENT) data corruption - see this and this


PCIe x8 cards can be used in PCIe x4 slots (electrical) if they fit mechanically. Of course, the performance will be just as PCIe x4 cards due to the limited bandwith.

USB Flash Drives

The unRAID server software boots from a USB flash drive, 128MB or larger. If you plan on enhancing your unRAID server with addons, then 512MB or larger is recommended. If you think you may want to build your own custom Linux kernel, then 1GB or larger is recommended.

There is some evidence that choosing a USB flash drive much larger than you actually require will increase its life span as wear will be spread out over the larger device. It is also believed that branded USB flash drive will generally turn out to be more reliable than a generic unbranded ebay purchases. If possible choose a USB flash drive that features wear leveling as it may under certain circumstances increase device longevity (unconfirmed).

To use the free Basic version of unRAID, no GUID is required. To use a registered copy of unRAID, whether the Plus or Pro version, the flash drive must have a valid GUID. A GUID is like a product serial number, but does not actually exist on the flash drive. It is constructed by the Linux kernel from the flash drive's manufacturer, product ID, and internal serial number. The foolproof way to check if your device has a usable GUID, is to download the UnRAID software, extract it to your flash drive (USB Flash Drive Preparation), boot unRAID in a test machine, go to the Web Management page (top of the UnRAID Manual), and just select/copy/paste the GUID from the Devices tab. If the last 12 characters of your Flash GUID are all zeros, then it does **not** have a serial number and you can **not** register it. You can also utilize a Microsoft utility UVCView.mspx from within Windows to determine the USB device's GUID (which consists of idVendor+idProduct+0000+iSerialNumber), but this is unofficial, and should not be used for registration.

  • Note: Lime Technology strongly recommends you obtain your Flash GUID via the Devices page. This not only ensures the correct GUID, but also that your hardware platform can boot from Flash and run the unRAID OS.

Known list of good quality USB products:

  • Kingston Data Traveler 2
  • Lexar Firefly (suggested by Lime Technology)
  • SanDisk Cruzer Micro (suggested by Lime Technology)
  • Sony Micro Vault Tiny (suggested by Lime Technology)
  • PQI Intelligent Stick 1.1
  • Lexar Jumpdrive 1GB
  • SanDisk U3 Titanium
  • Corsair Flash Voyager 1GB
  • Corsair Flash Voyager 2GB
  • PNY (slow!)
  • probably most others, if recently made, quality brand name
  • for maximum compatibility, see the Lime Technology store for pre-configured flash drives and the Server Installation page for Lime-Technology recommended/black-listed USB Flash drives


PSU - Power Supply


Hard Disk Stackers


Other

  • Video: Generic VGA
    • Not required for headless operation
    • Often integrated into motherboard, no video card needed
    • To save PCI Express slots, consider using a cheap PCI video card, like this one, $10!
    • Or get the cheapest PCIe-X1 video card you can find
  • Keyboard: any keyboard
    • Not required for headless operation
    • USB keyboard should work, but if not, then use any PS/2 keyboard
  • Mouse: not used
  • UPS: any UPS is strongly recommended



Recommended Builds

Budget Box

United States Version

(Current as of October 12th, 2011)

All of the following components are available through online retailers in the United States. All prices are in USD. Inspired by LimeTech's own RB-1200

Recommended retailers:


Components:

At current prices (as of 10/12/2011), the above configuration totals:

  • $580 + Shipping + Cost of Hard Drives (With 12 Hot Swap Bays, supports up to 12 drives)
  • $445 + Shipping + Cost of Hard Drives (With 12 Non-Hot Swap Bays, supports up to 12 drives)

Always check the Good Deals Forum for current sales.

For some pictures of Budget Boxes in action, see kizer's server, kansur's server, and guiri's server. Note that none of these use the exact configuration listed above, but all are very similar.

First Time Configuration

This section covers how to configure your new Budget Box the first time you boot it up. You should follow the steps in the order below, otherwise this may not work properly. Note that these instructions are for the original Budget Box motherboard (the Biostar A760G M2+), but the settings are likely to be similar for all future Budget Box motherboards as well.

  • First of all, if you are using an Unraid version before 4.7, make sure all your WD EARS have jumpers installed before booting your server! If you are using an Unraid version 4.7 or later, you can leave your hard drive jumperless.
  • Prepare your USB Flash drive for unRAID as described in the instructions here. Your bootable flash drive must be plugged into the server before the rest of this will work.
  • As your server boots for the first time, press and hold the 'Delete' key to enter BIOS setup. In BIOS, use the arrow keys to navigate and make changes and the enter key to select items. Hit Escape to go back a screen. Make the following changes in the order shown here:
    • On the Chipset tab
      • Choose 'Southbridge Configuration'
        • Set the OnChip SATA Type to AHCI
        • Disable SATA IDE Combined Mode
      • Choose 'NorthBridge Configuration'
        • Choose 'Internal Graphics Configuration'
          • Set UMA Frame Buffer Size to 32M (The smallest size)
    • On the Advanced tab
      • Choose 'USB Configuration'
        • Choose 'USB Mass Storage Device Configuration'
          • Set the Emulation Type to Hard Disk
    • On the Boot tab
      • Choose 'Hard Disk Drives'
        • Choose '1st Drive', select the USB Flash drive, and press enter
        • Disable all other boot drives
      • Choose 'Boot Device Priority'
        • Set the 1st Boot Device as the USB Flash drive.
        • Disable all other boot devices
  • Finally, press F10 to save your changes and reboot the server. The next time you turn on your server it should boot into unRAID automatically.

Australia Version

All of the following components are available through online and brick and mortar retailers in Australia. All prices are in AUD.
Recommended retailers:


Components:

  • CPU: 2.7 GHz AMD Sempron 140
  • Motherboard: Biostar A760G M2+
    • I don't know if this board is available in AUS or not, but the motherboard that was previously here has been demonstrated to be incompatible with the Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 card, see the Hardware Known Not To Work section below for more info.
  • RAM: Kingston 2 GB DDR2 800 RAM (1 GB is sufficient for stock unRAID usage, get 2 GB or more if you plan on using add-ons)
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX-400 400W (will support up to 12 drives)
  • Case: Antec Three Hundred
  • Hard Drive Bays:
    • Hot Swap - SNT-3141 SATA-II Hot-Swap 4 Drive RAID Enclosure (eBay price: $120 each)
      • You can forgo this option as the case only allows for one of these. To keep things on a budget scale, I'd suspect most would build this server without them and would use the Cooler Master STB-3T4-E3-GP 4-in-3 Device Module Hard disk Cage.
    • Non-Hot Swap - Cooler Master STB-3T4-E3-GP 4-in-3 Device Module Hard disk Cage (eBay price: $40, would only need one for this case)
  • Expansion Card: If you plan to use more than 6 SATA drives, you'll need to buy a compatible SATA RAID controller ($40 gets you a 4 Port SATA I RAID controller, about $70 gets you a 4 PATA II RAID Controller. PCIe would retail for about $100+ 4 Port card).
  • Hard Drives:

At current prices (as of April 3, 2010), the above configuration totals:

  • $352.90 + hard drives (base system, non-hot swap bays, 1 GB of RAM)
  • $464.80 + hard drives (baller system, hot-swap bays, 2 GB of RAM)

Always check the Good Deals Forum for current sales.


UK Version

All of the following components are available through online and brick and mortar retailers in the UK. All prices are in GBP.
Recommended retailers:


Components:

At current prices (as of April 7, 2010), the above configuration totals:

  • £172.75 + VAT + shipping + hard drives (base system, non-hot swap bays, Biostar board, 6 non-hot swap bays, 1 GB of RAM)
  • £456.07 + VAT + shipping + hard drives (baller system, Biostar board, 12 hot-swap bays, 2 GB of RAM)

Always check the Good Deals Forum for current sales.


20 Drive Beast

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-540
    • Low power yet with plenty of horsepower when needed
  • Motherboard: SUPERMICRO MBD-X8SIL-F-O
    • Tons of expandability options (PCIe x4 and x8)
    • Built in IPMI KVM over IP (This means that you can control every aspect of the server remotely, even BIOS! Ideal for a completely headless server hidden away in a closet or basement.)
  • RAM: Kingston 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Unbuffered DDR3 1333 Server Memory Model KVR1333D3E9SK2/4G
  • Expansion Cards: Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 *Same hardware used by LimeTech*
    • The recommended motherboard can support up to three of these expansion cards, one in each PCIe slot. However, don't bother buying a third card yet as currently unRAID cannot support that many drives.
    • Two of these cards are required for full 20 drive support.
    • Separate SAS or SAS to SATA breakout cables are required.
      • Use a SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 SAS cable to connect the Norco 4220's internal SAS backplanes to the Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 (you will need two cables per card, since each cable supports up to 4 hard drives)
      • Use a SFF-8087 Reverse (SFF8087OCR) SAS cable to connect the Norco 4220's internal SAS backplanes to the motherboard's onboard SATA slots (again, each cable supports 4 drives).
  • Power Supply: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2
    • Supports 20+ drives, but it is recommended that you use primarily green drives to keep power consumption low.
  • Case: Norco 4220
    • Includes 20 Hot Swap hard drive bays (each bay has a tray, they are not trayless)
    • Often bundled with something nice, such as a free hard drive or a free motherboard
    • The fans included with the Norco 4220 are very loud. If you want a quiet server, buy the 120mm fanplate and three good quality 120mm fans (look for fans with low noise (dBA) and high airflow (CMF). Noctua and Delta are good brands.

At current prices (as of 10/13/2011), the above configuration totals:

  • $1030 + Shipping + Cost of Hard Drives (With 20 Hot Swap Bays, supports up to 20 drives)

Always check the Good Deals Forum for current sales.


20 Drive Budget Beast

  • CPU: Intel Celeron 430
    • Low power and budget-friendly
    • Use the Intel Celeron E3300 if you need more horsepower for add-ons
  • Motherboard: SUPERMICRO MBD-C2SEA-O
    • Plenty of expandability options (PCIe x4 and x16)
  • RAM: Kingston ValueRAM 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model KVR1333D3N9/2G
  • Expansion Cards: Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 *Same hardware used by LimeTech*
    • The recommended motherboard can support up to two of these expansion cards, one in each PCIe slot.
    • Two of these cards are required for full 20 drive support.
    • Separate SAS or SAS to SATA breakout cables are required.
      • Use a SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 SAS cable to connect the Norco 4220's internal SAS backplanes to the Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 (you will need two cables per card, since each cable supports up to 4 hard drives)
      • Use a Reverse (SFF8087OCR) SAS cable to connect the Norco 4220's internal SAS backplanes to the motherboard's onboard SATA slots (again, each cable supports 4 drives).
  • Power Supply: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2
    • Supports 20+ drives, but it is recommended that you use primarily green drives to keep power consumption low.
  • Case: Norco 4220
    • Includes 20 Hot Swap hard drive bays (each bay has a tray, they are not trayless)
    • Often bundled with something nice, such as a free hard drive or a free motherboard
    • The fans included with the Norco 4220 are very loud. If you want a quiet server, buy the 120mm fanplate and three good quality 120mm fans (look for fans with low noise (dBA) and high airflow (CMF). Noctua and Delta are good brands.

At current prices (as of 10/13/2011), the above configuration totals:

  • $970 + Shipping + Cost of Hard Drives (With 20 Hot Swap Bays, supports up to 20 drives)

Always check the Good Deals Forum for current sales.


5 Drive miniBox

At current prices (as of 10/13/2011), the above configuration totals:

  • $290 + Shipping + Cost of Hard Drives (With 5 Hot Swap Bays, supports up to 5 drives)

Always check the Good Deals Forum for current sales.

For an example of the miniBox in action, see this thread. Note that I do not recommend the hot swap drive cage I used there as it does not have very good airflow.


More Builds

If you are looking for a no-fuss, tried-and-true server, then stick with the recommended builds above. However, if you care to indulge your inner geek, read on...

  • For more experimental and prototype builds (largely untested) that are generally budget-minded and require little to no case modding, see Raj's prototype designs.
  • For a compact design involving extreme case modding, check out Queeg's TinyTen (full thread here).
  • For more ideas on server designs and beautiful cable management, look no further than the Pimp Your Rig thread.

UnRAID Me Box

  • Note: this vendor may be out of business, web site does not work

basic build with updated cheapest components guaranteed to work. find updated prices, part discussion and full build + installation instructions at UnRAID Me's site. Prices in USD, not including License or Drives, including shipping, as of Sept 2011

  • $228 : up to 4 drive, basic system
  • $260 : up to 6 drive, recommended system
  • $419 : up to 12 drive system



Hardware Known to NOT Work

USB Flash Drives

  • Verbatim Store'n'Go Professional. Strange problems with the key being recognized, but not automounted during boot.
  • Alien 1GB. Recognized but syslinux gives kernel linux not found error. No obvious fix, stay away.
  • SuperTalent Pico - these do work at first, but see Not For unRAID: SuperTalent Pico series Flash drives


Hard Disk Drives

  • Western Digital AAKS drives. Mixed reports (see here and here). In some scenarios spindown of these drives completely hangs unRAID, while numerous other users report success with them. Consider other options if buying new drives, and thoroughly test if using an existing AAKS drive in your array.


Motherboards / Processors

  • Motherboards based on the nForce2, nForce3, and nForce4 chipsets are not recommended. They are notorious for data corruption issues, IDE detection issues, and incompatibilities with certain hard drives. This can result in failures to boot, corrupted files, corrupted network transfers, inability to use certain drives, etc. Many owners of these boards have wasted many days trying to get reliable operation, without success, and there are a number of very long threads about these problems on the Internet. It is the opinion of some that the Asus A8N family of nForce4 boards are the only ones that may be safe to use, possibly because Asus was the only one to put a tremendous effort into putting workarounds for the problems into the BIOS. For further discussion and links for research, see this thread. Boards based on later nForce chipsets, from nForce5 and higher, are fine, although may require small workarounds to operate well, such as special boot options, if using versions of unRAID prior to v4.4 final. nForce boards are generally very good performers, with very good feature sets.
  • Had lengthy problem of parity errors with system of ECS P4M800PRO-M V2.0 motherboard, Intel Core2Duo E4300, & Trendnet Gigabit PCI LAN. Not sure which variable was the issue. Can reference thread http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=2417. Note: motherboard chipsets are VIA P4M800 PRO and VIA VT8237R Plus
  • The ASUS M4A785-M has been demonstrated to be incompatible with the Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 card. See this thread for details. This board is also finicky about which USB Flash Drives it will and won't boot from. This board is only appropriate for a build with very limited expandability (6 drives or less, or 10 drives or less if one or more 2 port PCIe x1 SIL3132 cards is used in conjunction with the 6 onboard SATA ports).
  • BIOSTAR A880GU3 - user states "May work with tinkering, but got linux decompression error after many modifications and adjustments." More info here. Another user has had success (Level 1 pass) with the same board. More info [44]


SATA Controllers

  • Highpoint Rocket 640L - More info here [45]


Network Interface Controllers

  • As of May 2011, the Realtek 8111E NIC has been established as being very troublesome in the unRAID environment (see this thread for an example). While it is possible to make this NIC work, it is generally recommended that it be avoided if you want a hassle-free build. There have been no other widespread reports of problems with all the other versions of the Realtek 8111 NIC.

Other Hardware Recommendations

Cases and Enclosures

Rackmount (up to 24 HDDs)

Norco Rackmount cases use high quality 3.5" & 2.5" drive trays with option to close off airflow in empty bays. Trays are interchangeable with Norco SS-500, SS-400, and SS-300 drive cages.

9 Bay Tower (up to 15 HDDs)
  • AZZA Helios 910 Black Japanese SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case [47]
  • Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower - [48], many forum links
  • Antec Nine Hundred Two [49]
  • Xigmatek Utgard Window CPC-T90DB-U02 Black Steel / Aluminum and Mesh Bezel Computer Case [50]
  • Xigmatek Utgard Mesh CPC-T90DB-U03 Black Steel / Aluminum and Mesh Bezel Computer Case [51]
  • Nexus Prominent 9 - [52] [53] - an incredibly quiet case
  • Rosewill DESTROYER [54]
12 Bay Tower (up to 20 HDDs)
  • Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower - [55], [56]
  • LIAN LI PC-P80 - [57] *note that the external fans can be loud
Small Form Factor (SFF)
  • LIAN LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case [58] - can take up to 6 drives
  • Rosewill R101-P-BK [59] - A small tower case that will support one 4-in-3 or 5-in-3 HDD cage
Other
  • Cooler Master RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower - [60], several forum links
  • Antec 300 [61] - a popular starter case, supports only one 4-in-3 or 5-in-3 HDD cage.
  • many others, examine user build threads and user signatures
Old, Out of Stock, or Discontinued
  • Cooler Master Centurion 590 Case - [62], many forum links
  • Cooler Master Stacker 830 Evolution SC-830-KKN3-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower [63]
  • LIAN LI PC-V2000APLUSII W Silver Aluminum Server Computer Case - [64], [65]



Hard Drives

The recommended practice is to space out or stagger your hard drive purchases as much as possible, and to avoid buying multiple hard drives from the same manufacturer at the same time. Doing so increases your chance of a multiple drive failure from which unRAID cannot recover. Read more...

  • Note: The drive lists below are NOT comprehensive, just a few recommendations. There are many more drives that work well with unRAID.
  • See also Which 2 TB drive should I buy?
Hitachi
  • HITACHI Deskstar 5K3000 HDS5C3020ALA632 (0F12117) 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s - Newegg
    • currently the best recommended, green, low power, most reliable unRAID data drive
  • HITACHI Deskstar H3IK20003272SP (0S02861) 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s - Newegg
  • HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723020BLA642 (0f12115) 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s - Newegg
  • HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C 0F10383 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - Newegg
  • HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721010DLE630 (0F13180) 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s - Newegg
Samsung
  • SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - Newegg
    • These drives used to have known data corruption issues. While a firmware patch has been released to correct the issue, at present there is no way to verify that the firmware patch was successfully installed. See this thread for details.
  • SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3EG HD203WI 2TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Newegg
  • SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD154UI 1.5TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Newegg
  • SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD102UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - [66], Newegg
  • other Samsung drives
Seagate
  • Seagate Barracuda Green ST2000DL003 2TB 5900 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s - [67], Newegg
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - [68], Newegg, Frys
    • firmware MUST be checked, upgraded if necessary; is still not recommended by some
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - [69], [70], Newegg
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000333AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - Newegg, may need firmware upgrade
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3750330AS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - Newegg, may need firmware upgrade
Western Digital
  • Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s - Newegg
  • Western Digital Caviar Green WD15EARX 1.5TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s - Newegg
  • Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARX 1TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s - Newegg
  • Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2 TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Newegg
    • Note: All EARS drives require a jumper on pins 7-8 if used with an Unraid version older than 4.7; discussion.
  • Western Digital Caviar Green WD15EARS 1.5 TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Newegg
    • Note: All EARS drives require a jumper on pins 7-8 if used with an Unraid version older than 4.7; discussion.
  • Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - [71], Newegg
  • Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - Newegg
    • better performance than the green drive, better for parity drive
  • Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS 2TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - Newegg
  • Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - [72], Newegg
The Rest
  • Maxtor drives
  • Thinking about refurbished drives? There is an excellent discussion of the pros and cons here


Drive Cages

  • When using backplanes of the x in y type, make sure to provide a proper cooling solution. Server grade drives usually generate a lot of heat that can only be removed on the max fan setting. The noise level might be accordingly high! Populating those backplanes with "green" drives might be a solution.
Cooler Master
Connectland
  • Connectland Mobile Rack for 3.5 inches SATA HDD [77] - generic and inexpensive, these cages perform surprisingly well. Good airflow over the drives. Large case fans are enough to keep drives cool, no dedicated drive cooling needed.
Icy Dock
  • ICY DOCK MB453IPF-B 3 in 2 3.5' SATA I & II Hot-Swap Internal Backplane Raid Cage Module [78]
  • ICY DOCK MB973SP-B Tray-less 3 in 2 SATA I & II Internal Raid Backplane [79]
  • ICY DOCK MB455SPF-B 5 in 3 SATA I, II & III Hot-Swap Internal Backplane Raid Cage Module [80]
  • ICY DOCK MB974SP-B Tray-less 4 in 3 SATA I & II Hot-Swap Backplane Raid Cage Module with eSATA & USB [81]
Kingwin
  • KINGWIN KF-3000-BK 3.5" Internal hot swap rack raid-3 bay (3 in 2 trayless rack) - [82], [83]
  • KINGWIN KF-4000-BK 3.5" Internal hot swap rack raid-4 bay (4 in 3 trayless rack) - [84], [85]
Lian Li
  • Lian Li EX-H34B SATA Hot Swap HDD Rack Kit - [86], [87]
Norco

These Norco drive cages use high quality 3.5" & 2.5" drive trays with option to close off airflow in empty bays. Trays are interchangeable with Norco rackmount cases.

  • NORCO SS-500 5 Bay SATA / SAS Hot Swap Rack Module [88] [89]
  • NORCO SS-400 4 Bay SATA / SAS Hot Swap Rack Module - [90]
  • NORCO SS-300 3 Bay 3.5" SATA/SAS Hot Swap Rack Module [91]
Supermicro
  • SuperMicro CSE-M35T-1B Black 5 Bay Hot-Swappable SATA HDD Enclosure - [92], [93]


Video Cards

  • ATI Rage 8MB PCI Video Card - [94]


Cabling

  • MonoPrice seems to be the recommended source for all cables and cable accessories. See this for some discussion of cable quality.
  • Running cat6 cables - some good advice for installing network cabling
  • Power splitters - some good comments, a pic comparing good vs cheap, and a source


Fans and Controllers

Do not trust fan specifications as listed by manufacturers as invariably they are misleading or completely incorrect. Look for independent reviews.


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